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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

OFFICIAL HISTORY: ITS PITFABLS AjkrD CRITERIA

serious attempt to re-examine the whole framework of
the history.

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Up to the early 1900*5, when historical scholarship in
England came to its peak in men like Acton and Maitland,
words can hardly describe the admiration for Germany—
and the confessed discipleship—which existed amongst
English historians. I have tried to examine the nature
of the objections 'which the more recent British historio-
graphy has had not merely against Nasi perversions but
against German" historical scholarship in general; and
if there is a formula for the complaints that have been
made, I often feel that these go back to a factor which
characterised the general framework upon which the
Germans ranged or mounted their European history.
We certainly seem to have disliked one of their main
structural ideas—namely, the general claim which seemed
to be made that Germany had stood as the guardian and
bulwark of a thing which they called Western Civilisa-
tion. Perhaps because of the natore of our alliances
and sympathies we were repelled by the suggestion that
the Germans were defending the culture of the West
against the less civilised East. English historians seern
sometimes to have regarded this division between West
and East as a German racket or ramp, for such a view
of European history lent itself to the purpose of providing
modern German diplomacy with some of its rationale*
I have always personally felt, however, that there was

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